Newtonian Atom Optics and its Applications

  • Harold J. Metcalf
  • Peter van der Straten
Part of the Graduate Texts in Contemporary Physics book series (GTCP)


Atom optics is a new field that has emerged as a result of the capabilities of laser cooling. Devices depending on both material components and carefully arranged electromagnetic fields have been demonstrated. However, neutral atoms do not penetrate matter, so the only material devices that can be used for atom optics must function as masks, gratings, zone plates, and slits. Apart from simple masking, the principal effect of these intensity modulators is deBroglie wave diffraction, and so their discussion is left to Chapter 15. By contrast, atoms traveling in in-homogeneous electromagnetic fields, for example an optical standing wave, can experience a dipole force as discussed in Chapter 9. Thus the trajectories of atoms can be altered by the fields so that it becomes possible to control the motion of atoms using devices analogous to those in optics, including mirrors, lenses, beam splitters, retardation plates, etc.


Atomic Beam Laser Cool Atomic Clock Phase Space Density Light Shift 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold J. Metcalf
    • 1
  • Peter van der Straten
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsSUNY at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Physics and AstronomyDebye InstituteUtrechtThe Netherlands

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